Tag Archives: health

Never Ending Saga

Who likes working out?

I think it is a mental game I play with myself.   The thought seeps dread into my bones.  I have to peel myself out of the chair to get the game rolling.   I get to the work out room.  I spend the first 10 minutes surfing the tv to find the perfect show that is going to get me through this dreadful event.  When I lived in the suburbs, I would walk into the gym and immediately scan all the TVs to find the show that was going to make the game tolerable.  Most of the time, there wouldn’t be anything I like, which makes sense, since the only show I watch is Jeopardy.   I do watch the Bachelor from time to time.  I know.  I know.  Really bad.  But I liked the Dating Game when I was little too.  Something about match making.  That’s a whole nother deal we don’t need to get into.

Anywhooooo….Am I sounding familiar?  Just wondering if it’s just me.

Green Acres is the place for me. 

Farm livin’ is the life for me. 

Land spreadin’ out so far and wide

(to  keep this body from jigglin’ from side to side.)
IMG_1032
Well… that  is what I thought.  I never would have to work out again when we moved out here.  Hiking up and down these hills, hawlin’ buckets of water to and fro, heaving huge bags of feed over my shoulder, etceteraaaa, etceteraaaa.
I got through Spring and Summer without much damage but fall and winter are creeping in.  Right up my legs.  My chore load has slowed way down.  Walkin’ back and forth to the cow barn ain’t cuttin’ it.
DSC_0182
I look and feel like a Crispy Creme doughnut.  But what I’d like to know, is how did I get to look like a crispy creme doughnut when I haven’t eaten any.
Krispy_Kreme_glazed_donut
 But, boy, I’d like to.
So, today,  I have begun the long journey back.  ugh.  I know it wont take too much,  but it’s just that dreaded thought of planned, contrived movement.   Do I move enough in a day?  The answer is yes.  But I don’t like having 2 sets of boobs popping out of my bra,  if you know what I mean.   So, I must take action.
We all have a comfortable place for our bodies to be.  We allow it to get uncomfortable for a while, then action needs to take place.   That is not a bad thing,  if we don’t sit in that uncomfortable place too long and let it grow into an uncomfortable, unhealthy place.  If that goes on too long we wallow in an uncomfortable, unhealthy,  sick place and then bad things lead to real bad things…..you get da pitcha.
Life is full and round,  isn’t it?  I just love it.
What I wonder is…we all suffer from lots of ailments during this time of year that surround the holidays.  I wonder if we moved our bodies and made the healthy food and drink choices during this time if we would slide through unscathed.  I’m thinkin’ I know the answer to that.
Have a super, blessed week.  God loves you.  And me.  Thank goodness.  I couldn’t carry on if He didn’t.
God bless,
Karen

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Was It Really All That Black?

No, it really wasn’t all that black.  The weather,  however,  sure added to the drama.

Buster Brown, the nasty billy-goat,  went bye-bye.  I think the only thing that is dark about that is  he was keeping our beloved Great Pyrenees company while she guards the chickens.   She may be suffering from loneliness a little bit but we plan to supply her with another playmate soon.  She like to lick the chickens to death if she doesn’t have anything else to think about.

The butchering of the turkey was pretty uneventful as well.

This is what you will be having for dinner.

This is what we’re having.  You wanna come for dinner?

  I hope my family doesn’t mind getting feathers stuck between their teeth as they chew the  stringy,  tough turkey.   She only weighed out at 7.8 lbs.  She’s been running around here for the past 5 months so we are pretty confident the meat wont be too succulent.

Pops and I decided that we will leave the meat chickens to the Amish for processing.  They can do 150 chickens an hour.  We did 1 turkey in the same time.

Ugly? yes.  But we know exactly where that turkey came from.  We know what it has eaten.  We know the kind of life it lived.  She was queen of the guineas.  She ruled.  Please  make an effort to know where your turkey came from.

ART SHOW

I am participating in an art show in a few weeks.  If you are in the area, please stop by. The opening reception should be a grand time.  Can you guess which painting on the invite is mine?

It would be the second one in from the left.   The tree.

Gathering Humility

Ferns in Christian art symbolize humility.  I like that.

I pray that your week is a good one.  I pray for healing for all those that need healing.  I pray for safety, courage and strength for our service men and women.

God bless,

Karen

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Diagnosis: Nuts

Picasso,  Science and Charity, 1897.

One note… this was Picasso’s painting when he was 16 years old. And before I go on with the subject at hand (which is why I chose the above painting in the first place),  this next painting was when he was 15 years old.  He had nowhere else to go but …well…Picasso.

Picasso, First Communion, 1895

I was diagnosed with an ailment last week that has me a bit concerned.  It actually is a disorder, that if not treated it will continue to get worse and ultimately attack my total health, both mentally and physically,  they said.  The doctors  prescribed several different medicines that will make me healthy again.  The thing is, I don’t like, or I haven’t heard wonderful things about these particular meds.   But I did find a medicine that I think I like better.  It doesn’t do the things the ones prescribed do but I think if I take the ones I like, I will get along.    I called the dr. and told him that I found ones that I liked better.   He said ,  under any circumstances, they would not work.   I don’t buy it.   So, I think I’ll stick with my own treatment.

You are probably thinking at this point – “has she totally fallen off her tractor!”

I really wasn’t diagnosed with anything last week.   But wouldn’t you think I was bonkerly crazy if I had said that and meant it?

Ok….Let me reword the above statement.

I was diagnosed with an ailment last week that has me a bit concerned (anything chronic).  It actually is a disorder, that if not treated it will continue to get worse and ultimately attack my total health, both mentally and physically,  they said.  The doctors  prescribed the  foods that will make me healthy again.  The thing is, I don’t like, or I haven’t heard wonderful things about these foods (fresh veggies, protein, fruit and whole grains) that are good for me.  They are boring and don’t taste yummy.   But I DID find foods  that I think I like better (sugar, processed foods, colas).  My food wont  heal me like the ones prescribed will,  but I think if I take the ones I like, I will get along.    I called the dr. and told him that I found foods that I like better.  He said those,  under any circumstances,  they would not work.   I don’t buy it.    So, I think I’ll stick with my own treatment.  Which is called (for lack of a more effective word)  poison.

The cycle of chronic illness continues to go ’round and ’round.

Really?  Do we really sound and act that nuts?   It is our health for goodness sake.  It is our mind.  It is our body.  Let me take this one step further….It is our ONE mind.  It is our ONE body.

NUTS

I think we all have these nutty marbles rollin’ around in our heads.  Don’t you?

Can we, maybe,  try to think of our food as the medicine needed to stay far, far away from chemical manufactured medicine?   SOOOOOOOOOOOO many illnesses can be relieved and avoided if we would only take the best “medicine”.    Try thinking about it from another perspective and see if it has an impact.   It is hard,  HARD.  But with practice,  it can have huge benefits.

I seriously pray  that God will give me the wisdom to know better and give me the strength to resist temptation and give me the patience to do what it takes to eat properly.  For my health and those that are dear to me.

I hope that you don’t think this preachy….I am as guilty as the next guy.   It just is really serious business.  And I am really  concerned about my own health, my children’s and their children’s.  Our food, and therefore,  our health,  is in dire jeopardy.

God bless,

Karen

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Food. Good.

Who doesn’t love food?  Boy, oh, Boy.   There are  a lot of things I can’t or shouldn’t eat.  I stay true to those “rules” most of the time.  When you can’t eat the easy stuff, the convenient stuff, you figure out ways to make the wholesome stuff taste good.   As I have said in the past, my cooking is very simple, using few ingredients since most ingredients do not work for my health.

Whole foods.  The name of the game.   Pops and I wonder sometimes why we bother going out.  Our food here is always better than even the finest diners.  Why?  Fresh.  Local.  Homegrown.  Organic.  Simple.  Unprocessed.  REAL FOOD.    I do miss bread though.  A lot.  I am bankin’ on sourdough bread next to my bed when I am in heaven.  You watch.   With butter.

What makes fine restaurants so good?  They keep their recipes simple, fresh, and high quality ingredients.

Tonight we had scrumptuous munchuous.  Man, it  was good.   And simple as it gets.  HEALTHY.

PORK TENDERLOIN

Sprinkle tenderloin with fresh basil, coarse sea salt,  minced garlic.  put several slices of bacon over top and drizzle with olive oil.  Pop in oven 375 degrees for an hour.  Done. Perfect.  Delectable.

Remember……where the pork and bacon comes from makes HUGE difference in flavor AND health.

GREEN BEANS
Sautee in generous amount of Ghee (clarified butter) fresh green beans, chopped sweet red pepper, onion.  I don’t boil or steam beans first.  Done.  Perfect.  Delectable.

NOW……for a secret yummy…..

Since sugar…and dairy…and gluten…and, and, and,…. are no nos, I am continually experimenting to get a dessert acceptable for us (me).  Try to make a dessert without the above ingredients.  Impossible, right?  Darn near.  Well,  yes, it is impossible.   But we can make significant improvements on the status quo.  So, usually I end up making a fruit thing.  A crisp, or cobbler.  But fruit being the base.  I use the minimum sugar (organic coconut palm unrefined sugar) that I can get away with.  About 1/3 -1/2 cup for a 9 x 13 pan. of whatever I am making.     We top with ice cream (coconut milk based for me and ice cream with the least amount of ingredients for others).  And then,  a bit of home-made caramel sauce  drizzled on top.  THAT is the secret yummy.  Oh my goodness.

The best flavor IN THIS WORLD.

I make it with the whole she-bang.  But I use the better ingredients.  Every little bit helps.

EASY CARAMEL SAUCE

1 C.  organic coconut palm sugar

1/2 C.   organic heavy whipping cream

4 T organic butter

Pinch of sea salt

1 t. vanilla

Heat on med low heat the first three ingredients.  Whisking continuously until all is melted and thickening.  5-7 minutes.  Make sure granules are dissolved.   Add salt and vanilla stir and put in jar.

We wait for weekend night to enjoy our very special  yummy treat.  Since the sugar thing has to be few a far between for me, dessert is very special and we like to make that a part of a wonderful night home on the weekend.

Enjoy!

On a different note…I was driving home one night last week at dusk and a fog came rolling in that was wild.  It was deep blue.  Like an ice fog or somethin’ .   That is what it looked like to me.  It was warm out but it look like an ice fog sheet.  I know that doesn’t make sense.  But I took a picture with my phone and the contrast of the fog and my headlights was very cool.

By the way, I did not manipulate this photo.  The contrast was really quite something.

This was with headlights off:

I find great joy in the atmosphere.  Dont you?

You have yerself a great Tuesday.

God bless,

Karen

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New Acquaintances

Persimmons and Coyotes.

Persimmons. When our excavator showed up on site about 4 years ago, he was amazed at the number of persimmon trees we have.   He said in his travels around the county he just doesn’t see them much anymore.  A dying breed?  The trees are tall so hand picking is not really an option.  They are not big trees like oaks or maples but they are tall.  They are ripe when they fall to the ground on their own.  What people do is lay blankets at the base of the tree and shake the tree and let all the persimmons fall to the blanket.  Or of course,  you can just pick them off the ground as they fall themselves.   This year is the first year in 5 years that we are getting a noticeable harvest.

persimmon

They are not as pretty as this typically.  They are the size of  a really large grape and they usually look like a rotten really large grape.  This one was special.  They have too many seeds to just eat with effort.  Every bite holds at least one seed.  I would describe the flavor as being warm and cozy.  Like that of an avocado.  Velvety.   The problem is with all the seeds, I’m not sure what to do with them.  You can buy persimmon pulp in the freezer section but how do they get all those seeds out?  I have had persimmon pie, cookies , etc.  and all very good.  But it seems it may take me 24 hours (or more) to make a batch of cookies.  They kind a scare me.  I pick them up, bring them in and watch them as they sit on  my table.  I watch them and think about them.  Shady (the wonderful man who works for us) would die if he knew this.   They are gold to him.  I should either have him take them home or teach me not to be scared of them. Please, let me know what you do with them.

Coyotes.   We have had lots of visitors lately.   And while I have seen a couple here and there since we have owned our property, I have never seen THE  pack.  But, oh my goodness, they are here.  They usually are heard beginning right past dark and off and on until dawn.  It is rainy this morning so it is still darkish. They think it is still dark.  So they were still out making lots of noise as late as 8:15 this morning.

This pack wasn’t taken by my camera, but when our pack yell it sounds like there is every bit the number found here or more.  They howl when calling the pack together or when they all are  assembled.  And it is LOUD and monstrous.  A few weeks ago,  the pack had to be within fifty yards of our house.  Shrieking , and terrifying to imagine coming upon a pack.

People rarely see the pack assembled and I hear the pack can attack humans but it is very rare.  And it is rare for one to attack a human too.  I walk with my dogs so I don’t fear at all that one would attack, but every now and again, I think about what would happen if I rounded a corner and a pack was there staring at me.

I read they travel on established trails.  Pops spends all his time making trails. At this point them coyote could travel around our established trails and never cross over the same one. Why leave our property and explore ever again?   Keep on making them there trails, Pops.  Coyotes love you.

We enjoyed the wonderful Italian Sausage Ragout this weekend .

Sausage Ragout

It was SCRUMPTUOUS.  Perfect for a fall rainy night.  Served with Sourdough bread.   Please, look at the “Recipe” page for the recipe.

May God bless you and keep yours safe,

Karen

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This and That… And Other Tails.

Meet This and That, and Obie.

At the beginning of the month I followed my son  6 hours to college.  He couldn’t fit everything in his car.  Bless his little soul.   I love going to his school.  Small liberal arts college that has a wonderful, small, quiet atmosphere.  With artistic creativity oozing from its fiber.  My cup of tea.    Anytime, son.

We visited an art gallery where the owner keeps abandoned kitty’s in the back room.  I could think of worse things hangin’ in the back room.  I brought 3 home.  For the barn.  We need them as cold weather looms.  Mice.    Obie (Short for the school’s name,  Oberlin) came to live with us.  She is a scaredy cat.  Hides every time she sees you. Scared of her own shadow.  We have never had an animal like that.  You’re goin’ to have to get a life, little Obie.  You’ll get run out on a rail around here with that complex.

Little scaredy cat, Obie

And we have This and That.  They are identical black twins.  Can not tell them apart. They are as affectionate as Obie is not.   They are settling in and we love having them join the team.

This and That

Other great,  great news.  Our oldest son is getting married.  No, I am not old enough to have a son that old.  Pulease.  We are just trusting that he can handle the responsibility.   Just kidding.  He is old enough.  I am just not old enough.   His love is wonderful and I could not have picked one better for him.  We love her and look forward to a life with little Eric and Emily’s running around.   They have chosen to have the reception here at our farm.  When we bought this property I thought a wedding would be yummy here but having three boys never thought I would have the opportunity.   But yeah.  We get to do it.   We need to get busy……..

This couldn’t be our little Emily and Eric.  They haven’t matrimonied yet.   I borrowed from internet. Shhh.

Lastly, I read in a magazine for locals near Indianapolis…..I could not believe my eyes.. They were advertizing best restaurants for their burger toppers and one of them was Fermenti Artisan’s at the City Market.  IT IS A DELI THAT SPECIALIZES IN FERMENTED FOODS.    First ever I have seen this.  People are catching on, folks,  and if you want health in a jar, fermented foods is a must.   I cannot urge you enough.  If you aren’t from this area, please look in your health stores.  And just give it a try.  Please?

God bless,

Karen

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Fermentation Is The Key To Paradise

Good Morning!

I lay flat on my back with a torn disc. Very minor compared to past experiences.  I really need to leave the heavy lifting around here to someone else.   I have lots of time this morning to leisure in my thoughts.

I think I’ll go to a place that will (prayerfully) be of interest to you.  Eeek.

When my body was ailing from all the toxins from sugars and antibiotics and processed foods, the first thing my doctor taught me was to get a leg up on fermented foods.  What in the world.  Fermented foods were a popular way of preserving foods for cold months way back when in the era I should have lived.

You can ferment foods for all different effects and reasons.  You may be familiar with the process of making wine and beer and other alcohols.  A fermentation process is used to change the sugars in the grains and fruits into alcohol.

Sourdough bread goes through a fermentation process whereby the  wheat mixed with water goes sets off a breakdown of enzymes converting the so-an-so’s into something or other.   Bacteria cultures come about (I have no idea what I am saying here) and it makes the bread taste sour.    This process is done mostly for flavor purposes.  Only has minimal health benefits over regular wheat bread.  But  bottom line it taste AWESOME for all you gluten people out there.  Love, love,  love the  taste of sourdough bread.

These are not the culture processes I want to talk about today.  The fermentation foods that are power packed, probiotic filled,  life saving wonderment.  That is what I want to hit on.  The stuff saved my health.   And what started out a science experiment and dislike for the flavors, turned in to a lifeline to well-being.  My body craves the stuff when I don’t have it.

So what are they?

They are clean, preferably organic (we want cultured food not cultured chemicals)  foods that when left to their own devices produce their own good bacteria (probiotics) which when live in our bodies fight off any incoming bad bacteria to ward off illness.  Our bodies have naturally occurring good bacteria which do that.  But the stress and compromise that we subject our vessels to negate many good things in our bodies.  Also, fermented foods are pre-digested, meaning during the culturing process the food has started to break down itself so the digestion, by the time it hits your stomach, is easier.  Our bodies are asked to digest some really hard things.  Like foods with chemicals and foods with stripped nutritional value.  Our bodies simply do not know what to do with it.

If you:

eat processed foods

eat sugar

take antibiotics( they kill not only bad bacteria but ALL bacteria.  If you must be on them, take over the counter probiotics with them so you are not depleting all of your fightin’ buddies)

drink alcohol

any chemical laden foods

….you most likely have a compromised immune system, which means you are lacking good bacteria.

My dr. gave me lots of necessary steps to take but this cultured food deal was, in my mind and body, the most important.

The three cultured foods I eat religiously are:

YOGURT AND KEFIR.  Both of these are cultured milk products.  They are full of probiotics.  You can make them your self with culture starters or good yogurt.  Or you can buy from the store.  Buy ORGANIC, PLAIN  yogurt or kefir.  You are only wasting your money if you purchase fruity stuff.  The sugar and other stuff that is added makes it useless.   Add your own berries or what have you.

COCONUT KEFIR WATER.  Young coconut water store-bought.  Use a kefir starter which you can by at health food stores or online.  I buy online at http://www.bodyecologydiet.com.  You can get all culture starters there.  Buy her book while you’re at it.  Her book saved my life.  When I drink it, it turns my skin translucent.  Beautiful silky.

Coconut Water

You just add kefir starter and coconut water into glass crock with rubber gasket (they get the best seal) and sit on counter for 2 days.  It will taste effervescent.  A little champagney.  After all, it is fermented.  It is a treat!  Stocked full of yummy bacteria.

Finally and most importantly,

Cultured Veggies in glass crock

CULTURED VEGGIES!!!!!.   This is it, man.  I’m tellin’ you what.   It is like gold.  I am starting to see this stuff at my food store and it is sold for 10.99 a pint.  10.99 A PINT.   I have to buy it when I am out and it is gone in three servings.  ugh.  When I make it, I make 10 litres at a time.  And since it is naturally preserved I can take all the time I need to gobble it up.   This past   year I invested in the old german ceramic crocks that they used in the olden days to preserve their “kraut”  in the old dark cellars of yesteryear.  They come in sizes from a gallon, I think, up to 10 gallon crocks.  They are very cool.  I bought two- 10 litre crocks.  Very heavy duty.

German Ceramic Crock

I will post the Cultured Vegetable recipe on the recipe page.   I can just say that it would be very worth your while to make it.  There are many great recipes out there.  I have settled on one that I have used for 7 years that works for me.

To your health!

God bless,

Karen

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